Brown University will confer eight honorary doctorates as part of the upcoming commencement exercises and one will go to musician and founder of Community MusicWorks Sebastian Ruth. He’s in pretty heady company here including Viola Davis who will probably love this guy.
Ruth made the news last year upon becoming a MacArthur Fellow (the so-called ‘Genius Grant’). They described his work.
After graduating from Brown University in 1997, he founded Community MusicWorks, a nonprofit organization based in Providence’s West End that offers frequent performances and free musical instruction led by its house ensemble, the Providence String Quartet. In contrast to many arts outreach programs, Ruth and his fellow quartet members have taken up residence within the inner-city community they serve, in keeping with their vision of music as a nurturing neighborhood necessity similar to a library, a church, or a health clinic. . . Ruth’s group provides all students—from elementary to high school—with an instrument on long-term loan, close mentoring relationships with instructors, and exposure to an expansive variety of music through workshops and field trips.
Congratulations to Ruth and Community MusicWorks. The world needs music.
(Photo of Sebastian Ruth courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)